Album: Joan as Police Woman, To Survive (Reveal)

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The Independent Culture

Just as Antony Hegarty first came to prominence as one of Lou Reed's backing singers, Joan Wasser started out as one of Antony and the Johnsons' backing singers before renaming herself Joan as Police Woman.

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Like Hegarty, this 37-year-old auteuse has a damaged blues voice, reminiscent of Nina Simone, Laura Nyro and Billie Holiday, and a fondness for meand-ering, piano-led, jazz-tinged tunes in the same vein as Joni Mitchell circa 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns'. She often sounds like a wonky, out-of-focus Carole King (no bad thing), or a female-centred Steely Dan. Keep your eye on Rainy Orteca's next move. She's JPW's backing singer.

Pick of the Album: The bittersweet solitude of "To Be Lonely"